RCAF Shoulder TitlesAugust 24 2005 at 5:59 PM
Don Zorniak (Login Zorniak)
from IP address 188.8.131.52
I have recently added RCAF to my WW2 re-enacting interests.
The air force end does not seem as clear cut and well defined as it was for my army research.
While terrorizing Ontario this summer I took the opportunity to visit the war plane museum as well as the RCAF museum in Trenton. A couple of hundred photos later and after talking to a less than helpful curator at the Trenton stop I felt I was well on my way with my uniform concerns.
I was recently gifted a pristine war dated suit aircrew blouse (about 99% nap) and rather than compromise this item I invested in a repro aircrew suit. I got it ready for the VJ Day celebrations here in Winnipeg and wore it to add some historical colour to an event that had a dismal public showing. (That will be saved for another rant.)
Now for my RCAF uniform concerns.
I know that the greatest number of you out there portray RAF officer types. I waffled over NCO ground crew but settled on a RCAF Sgt AG.
All was well and fine until this week when I started to do more digging. Ploughing through my piles of books I am finding out some very strange things about the shoulder titles on aircrew suits for RCAF as a result of studying the photos. These photos were taken in England according to the credits.
Some NCO blouses had:
1. Canada over the eagle
2. The eagle only
3. Canada only on an NCO
4. No shoulder title at all
In the museum photos I have evidence of 1 and 2 from above but not 3 and 4.
The original blouse I have has evidence of only the Canada title as shown by a slight crushing of the wool.
Now what is correct? I know all about the 10 yard rule (been there, seen horrendous stuff up close).
Was the war time economy such that as long as they had a body to put in a plane, they would worry about uniformity at a later date? Besides that only one in five made it back. Or was there no hard and fast rule? I know the army has all kinds of exceptions based on regimental traditions, the air force is less likely so.
My service dress uniform is less of a concern.
I have more questions to ask and get your minds going.
Later for those.
PS Thank you to Chris Kanca for your help on my last post regarding service dress sizes.